Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hotel Review: Hyatt Place Daytona Beach

My family recently returned from a week-long vacation in Florida. We stayed 3 nights at Disney's Contemporary Resort (see my review here) as part of a group reunion. When planning this trip, we wanted to keep our costs down because we need to save up for a few bigger vacations we are eying for the future. Rather than just fly home after 3 days in Florida, I decided to look at hotels in the area where we could stay for free on points. I had over 70,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points that I had earned from opening a Chase Ink credit card last year. Those points can transfer to Hilton, Hyatt and IHG (Holiday Inn).

Hyatt points go farther than the other chains, and when I searched Hyatts nearby Orlando the Hyatt Place Daytona Beach caught my eye. The rooms sleep 6, and the hotel is located directly on the beach about an hour away from Orlando. We used 12,000 points per night to stay here for free.

The Hyatt Place Daytona Beach is actually located south of Daytona Beach in Daytona Beach Shores. That may not seem significant, but I believe it is a little less crowded than Daytona Beach proper. (Note: This was our third stay in a Hyatt Place. Our first time staying at this brand was in Las Vegas on the way back from Hawaii, and we also stayed at the Hyatt Place Orlando Airport on our late arrival night at the beginning of this trip.)

Hyatt Place Daytona Beach

The hotel had free parking in front and in the back of the hotel after getting a parking permit at check-in. The lot was small and full, but we always found a spot. The hotel offered overflow parking across the street behind a souvenir store.

All of the rooms offer either partial ocean view (on the side of the hotel) or full oceanfront view (the back of the hotel). We were lucky at check-in and received an upgrade to a full oceanfront view.

Our room looked like the standard Hyatt Place room with two queen beds and a cozy corner sleeper sofa.

This is a close-up of the cozy corner sleeper sofa (taken from the Orlando location since I forgot to take a close-up at the Daytona Beach location).

The best thing about our room was the view! We were on the 4th floor, room #411. This photo was taken on a Sunday afternoon when we first arrived. As you can see, the beach was not very crowded.

And this was our view each morning...a beautiful sunrise over the ocean.

The hotel has a free breakfast...standard breakfast fare with breads, pastries, donuts, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, etc. The signature dish is egg sandwiches. (These photos are from the breakfast at the Orlando location, but the Daytona Beach location was identical).

The hotel has a small offering of other food available 24/7 for purchase, as well as an ice cream freezer and an outdoor tiki bar by the pool. There was free water available from dispensers near the pool.

The pool was refreshing and not very crowded. My kids enjoyed going to the pool before and after our beach outings. There was also a small whirlpool hot tub.

The beach is just down the stairs from the pool. There is a shower right by the entrance. The hotel has pool towels but does not permit the towels to leave the premises for the beach. We brought our own beach towels, but by the second day we realized we didn't really need them because the sand brushed so easily off us and we could shower and use the hotel pool towels on our way to our room.

Across the street from the hotel is a Denny's, Subway, Dairy Queen and Red Lobster. We ate at the Subway for lunch one day (with Dairy Queen for dessert). There is also a souvenir store right across the street that sells boogie boards, skim boards, sand buckets. etc. A grocery store is just down the street.

Food trucks and ice cream trucks drove along the beach. We also ventured out for dinner nearby and found two great seafood restaurants within a 5-minute drive.

The beach behind the hotel goes on forever. Or 20 miles. It is lined with hotels and condos that all look the same from the back.

We loved our stay at this hotel and really have no complaints! The room was large enough for my entire family of 5, free breakfast is a great perk, but the location is the best! It's on such a lovely stretch of beach. There is nothing fancy about the hotel or any of the nearby hotels and condos we saw in this area, but the Hyatt Daytona Beach was perfect for the rest of our week in Florida.

During our stay, we did the following nearby activities in addition to the pool and beach:

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Marine Science Center
Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory Tour
Midway Airboat Ride 
Daytona Magic Shop

Other activities in the area we didn't have time to do:
Daytona Speedway Tour
Daytona Beach Pier
Daytona Lagoon Water Park and Go-Karts 
Ponce Inlet Water Sports 
Museum of Arts and Sciences
*  St. Augustine (historical city 1 hour north)
*  Kennedy Space Center (1 hour south)
Silver Springs (1 hour west)

Your experience at this hotel may vary if you go during March, since I hear Spring Break is crazy crowded at Daytona Beach and I imagine some of that craziness spills down to Daytona Beach Shores.

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